With our nation’s attention turned towards either the latest banking scandal (Barclays) or the aftermath of some insignificant sporting drama (Wimbledon), the European Commission closes a process today which has the potential to fundamentally change the fabric of our entire society.
Wrapped up in the cuddly title of the “Internet of Things”, a total surveillance society is now, without question, racing into view. The European Commission – an organisation which has not had it’s public accounts signed off by external auditors for more than 17 years – is now seeking your ideas on how it should govern the “Internet of Things”. Not “if” you want an “Internet of Things” – just “how” you want it. Whether you want it or not is, ostensibly, not a matter for your concern.
So what is the Internet of Things? And why don’t we know anything about it? Why is it too important for you to have a more fundamental say in whether it SHOULD be done?
In short, the Internet of Things is about everything we know and love being monitored through a network of tiny RFID transponders (Radio-Frequency IDentifiers are microchips capable of transmitting data) – and with the new IPv6 Internet protocol, there are now enough unique IP addresses to allocate one to every single star in the universe. Except these new addresses won’t be given to the more than 340 trillion, trillion, trillion solar power stations. They’ll be put in your appliances, your children’s toys, your shoes, your windows – you name it – to provide the European Commission with what it says will be “significant progress in addressing global and societal challenges and to improve daily life” [sic].
At any other time in history, we might buy this line of thinking. Maybe. But as Tim Yeo recently showed, there is a keen move towards monetising and controlling everything we do through a Personal Carbon Allowance – under the control of the same banking institutions currently occupying our news headlines.
But how, we hear you ask, would they go about implementing such an obnoxious plan? Is it possible that a ‘Smart’ Grid, built on a network of RFID-enabled sensors connected to cancer-causing ‘Smart’ Meters could provide a mechanism? Surely not.
This age of “ubiquitous computing” is being sold as a natural leap forward in technology – “evolution”, the “next step”. But it’s neither. It’s the death of privacy. The IoT is the ying to the Smart Meter yang, and provides the operating environment for everything we do being monitored, regulated and controlled.
What do you think?
The consultation on the “how” closes today (Tuesday 10th July).
Here’s one of their super slick sales pitches (taken from this accompanying PDF)